Terms of Engagement, the book, began during a conversation with my mother. She commented that there are some who no longer vow “so long as we both shall live”. Instead, they vow “so long as we both shall love.”
This annoyed me, because it’s yet another way in which commitment is becoming commit-not. An idea was sparked, and though it was vague at first, it continued to take shape as I mulled it over. Lina Phillips and Casey Travis received their names, and their story began.
Lina and Casey had some heavy burdens to work through, and there’s nothing feel-good about that. I wasn’t sure how I was going to write it without the disclaimer, “feels-bad for a while, but ends well”. But then, along came Lina’s sister, Patrice. As soon as she received her name, and met Grandma Phillips’ tall-dark-and-handsome neighbor, Evan Thompson, the feel-good and the sense-of-humor part was supplied. So was the mystery, along with some suspense.
I struggled over whether or not to begin a new series, with Terms of Engagement as the first book. Ultimately I did, because I want to see more of Evan and Patrice. They have plenty of stories left to tell. But, in the meantime, Failure to Engage took off like a torpedo. It, too, is set in Ocotillo, and begins two days before the end of Terms. It deals with some heavier relationship issues than my other series–I think so, anyway–and so, it became book 2. As of this writing, Disengaged, the third in the series, is on page 225 and counting. It, too, has mystery, four main characters, and a couple navigating some difficult issues. It has me rooting for them, and I hope those who read it, will feel the same way and perhaps be inspired by them as well.
It is highly likely, and almost certain, that Evan and Patrice will have another book somewhere in the series. It’s completely certain that they, along with Justin and Laney from Failure, will make an appearance in Disengaged. There will be cross-over amongst the characters in this series, as well as others. Evan Thompson is Anika Riley Bannerman’s cousin, after all. It might be more like second-cousin once-removed, but I’m not as versed in genealogical terms as Anika’s Aunt Louise, so I’m not certain, and not inclined to look it up at the moment. Their grandfathers are brothers, so there’s the connection. Patrice and Lina Phillips, are Xander’s and Gabriel’s cousins. And, Gabriel and Xander are brothers. We may see them all together in one place, during Jenny and Xander’s June wedding.
In the meantime, Terms of Engagement, the series, has three more books in the notes stage as of this writing.